The Regional Director of Solidaridad West Africa, Isaac Gyamfi, the Chargé d’affaires at the Delegation of the European Union to Liberia, Emma Sundblad, and the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Aaron Marshall, signed the grant agreement.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Gyamfi promised Solidaridad will deliver a high-quality programme to support the cocoa sector in Liberia. He noted Solidaridad has enormous expertise in cocoa cultivation across the region. “We have worked over the years to improve the productivity of cocoa farmers and strengthened their partnership with the private sector. We will introduce our innovative practices to the Liberian cocoa sector and help grow the economy”, he said.
According to Sundblad, the programme is the first contract to be signed under the EU Liberia Agriculture Programme, a 30 million euro programme financed by the EU with the objective to boost agricultural economic development and to improve food and nutrition security in the country.
The Liberia Cocoa Sector Improvement Programme will work closely with the Ministry of Agriculture, farmers and agro-businesses to improve the quality of Liberian cocoa and increase cocoa exports. The programme will run from 2018 to 2022.
The Liberia Cocoa Sector Improvement Programme will create a vibrant, competitive and profitable cocoa economy driven primarily by farmers’ organizations and supply chain companies within a robust national regulatory and institutional framework.
The project targets the entire cocoa value chain in Liberia and seeks to work with and train some 5,000 cocoa farmers.
Programme activities will include the distribution of improved planting and other input materials, linking farmers and agro-dealers to international suppliers and buyers, supporting the government of Liberia with the creation of sector policies and the development of coordinating structures.
Additionally, the Liberian cocoa will be branded for sale on the international market.
The programme will be implemented in Bong, Nimba and Lofa Counties, with Grand Gedeh, River Gee and Gbarpolu Counties as the secondary counties.
Solidaridad in Liberia
Solidaridad opened an office in Liberia in 2015 with an initial funding from the Dutch government through its Practice for Change programme. The country programme focuses on mitigating food and nutrition insecurity by improving farm household food access, availability and utilization through improved incomes from cocoa, oil palm and increased production of rice, cassava and plantain.
Learn more about Solidaridad programmes in West Africa